Album review: Chicane, Giants

Simon Lee is lifted higher and higher by the latest offering from the king of Ibiza chill-out, Chicane.

Jayne Robinson

Date published: 12th Aug 2010

Reviewed by: Simon Lee

Skiddle rating: 5/5

Many are wary when the word Ibiza is mentioned. The musical connotations that come with the Mediterranean island generally bring to mind the terrible stereotype of high and drunken lads and ladettes raving to trance music. Yet Chicane is often referred to as ‘God of the Ibiza anthem’, a title that might cause many to avoid him like a recently lit firework.

Track one, ‘Barefoot’ however is a very positive start. It’s atmospheric, positive, sounding like a sunrise and reminiscent of a very relaxed ‘Ready For the Weekend’ by Calvin Harris. It’s a good start.

Owl City’s Adam Young appears on the album, on single release ‘Middledistancerunner’. The track itself isn’t actually the brilliance some may be hoping for. Instead, it’s overshadowed by the beautiful and Imogen Heap esque ‘What Am I Doing Here Prt 1’. With guest vocals from Blandine who sounds like an electronic Vennessa Carlton. This song really works nicely. Yet the best moments of this album are yet to come…

Giants is one of those albums where each track lifts you higher and higher. Surely every track is the best of the album, and yet the next one always proves otherwise. The peak is possibly a remix of Sigur Ros’ Hoppipolla, one of the best songs written in the last twenty years. Maybe it’s just the familiarity, but it’s comforting and uplifting.

The rest of the album continues to please, with highlights including ‘Where Do I Start’ and, despite standing out a little from the other tracks, almost as if it were slotted in at the last minute, ‘Hiding All the Stars’ which includes a sample of Gary Numan’s ‘Cars’. A cheesy song at the bet of times.

Giants is an album full of great tracks, but that’s the one problem. Every track is very individual and the silence between each song feels awkward. It just seems that there should be more of a flow. Yet it’s a minor complaint in a sea of praise. The album really is the perfect example of music that’s actually designed to be listened to at 5am, as the sun rises, people doze off whilst a few stragglers slowly dance and sway in the morning shadows. It’s a brilliant piece of work and one to be listened to again and again.